These days, luxury watches are not only about telling the time. Instead, they serve like a functional piece of jewellery that does more than only look pretty. They aid individuals to manifest their success, achievement or unique personality. Perhaps the fascinating thing you can see today is a mechanical watch; its craftsmanship, complex engineering fit inside tiny cases.
These timepieces constitute some of the man’s biggest achievements in a small device to fit on the wrist. It’s not surprising that the best iterations are exceedingly sought-after among collectors. Well, luxury watches are synonymous with expensive. The most exclusive and extravagant timepieces in the world are multi-million-pound creations.
In fact, while the watch market is booming right now, the rarest iterations are breaking world records at auctions. However, the most expensive watches have a class of their own. They possess unique aesthetics to capture the eyes of avid collectors, billionaires and millionaires, Hollywood A-listers and more. Now:
When talking about the most expensive watches in the world, the names that strike to mind first include Rolex, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, Cartier & more. The watches made by the leading watch brands appeal to anyone with their superb styling, classic engineering and exclusivity. Moreover, many of these timepieces are limited editions or one-offs.
So are you wondering what the world’s most expensive watches are? Do you know which the most expensive Rolex watch is?
Keep reading to look at the top most expensive watches ever produced and know why they command astronomical prices.
The Paul New Newman Rolex Daytona made a record-breaking sale in 2017, fetching about £13.01 million. This is the most expensive Rolex watch ever sold and the costliest timepiece ever sold globally.
So what’s so special about Paul Newman’s Rolex? How did it become the most expensive watch of all time?
The Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona is not specifically a rare model nor embellished with very precious gems. However, it’s the unique story and association that appealed to collectors.
The story dates back to 1968 when Newman’s wife Joanne Woodward gifted a Rolex Daytona to him. While Newman began racing cars recently, her wife engraved the words’ Drive Carefully Me’ on the watch’s back. Later, this Daytona became Paul Newman’s favourite timepiece, wearing it during photo shoots, outdoors and many other places.
A gold case and a black dial – this was the rarest configuration available in the Rolex’s catalogue at the time. Thus, the Rolex Bao Dai is among the unique and most instantly recognisable watches among watch enthusiasts.
Rolex initially sold this timepiece to the Nguyen dynasty’s last emperor in 1954 in Vietnam. And it was the costliest watch available in the brand’s catalogue at that time. What makes this Rolex so unique & collectable?
However, the watch was at auction already before. The Nguyen family sold it first in 2002 for about £171,880. Interestingly, it was the highest price paid ever for a Rolex watch at that time.
Rolex produced the Daytona Unicorn Reference 6265 between 1970 and 1988. The watch sports a 37mm steel Oyster case and the manual winding Calibre 727 movement. Interestingly, collectors had no severe interest in this watch. However, Reference 6265 was not any ordinary Rolex.
So, why Rolex 6265 is unique? The watch is crafted of white gold, hence, the nickname ‘Unicorn’. The white gold case frames a black sigma dial. Rolex delivered this watch to a German retailer in 1971. However, it is believed to be the only version of Reference 6265 crafted of white gold. Thus, the watch is genuinely unique and highly coveted.
Patek Philippe Reference 1518 debuted in 1941 as the first perpetual calendar moon-phase chronograph watch. This in itself made the watch a highly coveted collector’s piece. But the timepiece did not have substantial collectors as Patek Philippe introduced the model at the peak of WWII.
The watchmaker introduced the Reference 1518 in stainless steel, yellow gold and Rose gold cases. Although all three watches are coveted, the steel edition is more desirable among collectors. Phillips Bacs & Russo sold the watch in Geneva, where the bidding started at about £2.20 million. However, the final price settled at £7.10 million, making a record for a wristwatch at that time.
This Patek Philippe Reference 5016A-010 ranks among the list of the most complicated watches ever made. The watch packs the Calibre RT 027 PSQR hand-wound movement featuring a one-minute tourbillon, perpetual calendar and minute repeater. Moreover, it is made of 506 hand-finished parts.
Interestingly, the Phillips Auction house billed the timepiece as one of the greatest classics of the Patek Philippe Grand Complications. The estimated price was CHF 700,000 – 900,000. However, the watch finally hammered at a staggering £5.42 million.
At the bi-annual Only Watch charity auction, the limelight was on the host of Patek Philippe watches. Following the record-breaking sale of Reference 5016A-010, the watchmaker again came up with another one-of-its-kind model.
The fact is that Patek Philippe used titanium very rare. And Reference 5208 is the only titanium edition ever produced. It sold for an astronomical price of £4.61 million – the second-highest sum that bi-annual event ever achieved. However, the auctioned price went to Monaco Association that works for the degenerative muscular disorder, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
Christie’s auction house billed this 18ct Gold Chronograph from Patek Philippe as a historically significant wristwatch. Patek Philippe introduced Reference 1527 in 1943, packing the Calibre 13 into it. And the movement controlled the date, moon phase and perpetual calendar functionality of the timepiece.
Why is this Patek Philippe Chronograph watch special? This is because the watch is the archetype of some of the most iconic watches within Patek’s catalogue. Take, for example the Reference 5270.
However, like most timepieces debuted during WWII, Patek Philippe produced Reference 1527 in low numbers. The watchmaker supposedly made only two of the Reference 1527, and this specific version is considered one of the two models. Another one is a non-chronograph watch.
Thus, when it went to auction in 2010 at Christie’s, the competition was furious. The auctioneers estimated the watch to fetch within £1.15 – £1.93 million. However, the timepiece finally sold for about £4.67 million, becoming the most expensive watch sold at auction at that time.
The Patek Philippe Calibre 89 enjoyed the recognition of the world’s most complicated watch for over a quarter of a century. However, it lost this tag in 2015 after the release of Vacheron Constantin 57260. But the Calibre 89 is yet the most complicated timepiece in Patek Philippe’s catalogue. And thus, the watch is indeed unique.
Well, Patek Philippe released the Calibre 89 watch to commemorate the brand’s 150th anniversary. They produced only four of these models in platinum, white gold, yellow gold and pink gold, respectively. However, the model that went up for auction in 2009 is the yellow-gold edition.
A famous Japanese Ferrari and Patek Philippe collector named Yoshiho Matsuda bought the timepiece for nearly £3,739,172. He has this exclusive timepiece in his collection to date. The watch came up for auction several times, but it did not reach the price set at about £8.16 million.
This Royal Oak Offshore Grande Complication is the descendant of the ever-first sports watches, the iconic Royal Oak. It is among the most expensive watches within AP’s catalogue and also in the world. However, the Audemars Piguet Offshore Grande Complication is a waterproof masterpiece with exclusive features. It includes –
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Grande Complication features a 44mm titanium case and a ceramic bezel. However, its skeleton display allows you to see the elegant and detailed finishing that took 860 hours to complete.
Many watch collectors and fans have fallen in love with this iconic, luxurious timepiece that contributes significantly to the brand’s ultra-desirability. However, AP produced only three examples of this timepiece worldwide, making it a rare piece to collect.
Audemars Piguet named this watch collection after one of the company’s founders. The Jules Audemars Grande Complication is available in different metals like pink gold and titanium. However, the watch measures 42mm in diameter and features a transparent case back to give you a glimpse of the mesmerising movement.
Moreover, a hand-stitched alligator leather strap boosts the elegance of this self-winding timepiece. The strap is further fitted with titanium or 950platinum or 18ct gold folding clasp. The watches of this collection cost nearly between £471,655 and £571,764.
The third model in the list of the most expensive Audemars Piguet watches is the Millenary CarbonTourbillon Chronograph. What contributes to the astronomical price tag of the watch are the materials. The list includes blackened steel and aluminium for the bridges, forged carbon for the watch case. Moreover, AP used black ceramic for the crown, chronograph push-pieces and the bezel.
The brand’s expert craftsmen made the case by processing and moulding separate carbon wire pieces. The result is unique texture and ultra-lightweight. Moreover, the watch features a column-wheel mechanism, tourbillon and twin barrels. AP completed the model’s elegant look with a hand-stitched alligator leather strap.
It takes over two weeks to assemble the watch and is also waterproof. Pairing expert craftsmanship with cutting-edge materials, the Millenary CarbonTourbillon Chronograph cost nearly £301,712.
The Cartier Ballon Blue Tourbillon Diamond watch sports a 46mm case size with 13mm thickness and an upgraded movement mechanism. However, what boosts the watch’s glamour is the Baguette diamond-set bracelet. The slate grey dial with sun satin-finished grid and transparent case back adds to the beauty of the watch.
Moreover, the Roman numeral hour markers and sword-shaped hands on the dial ensure increased legibility and beauty. You can see the tourbillon at the 6 o’clock side. The manual wound movement gives 50 hours of power reserve. How much does it cost? It is about £0.79 million.
Cartier introduced the Rotonde Tourbillon Chronograph as a limited edition timepiece. It comes with a 45mm case diameter with a thickness of 15.7mm. Other exclusive features of this limited edition piece include a black alligator strap and a transparent case.
However, the strap builds up to a double adjustable deployant buckle that allows comfortable wearing. The signature Roman numeral markers and blue-coloured sword hands elevate the readability of the elegant grey dial. How much is the watch worth? It is about £176,749.
Cartier produced the Extra Large Tortue High Complication platinum watch only in 15 pieces, making it a rare model to come across. The watch features a platinum case of 10.7mm thickness and a transparent case back. However, what further magnifies the beauty and elegance of the watch is the high-quality black alligator strap.
This Cartier Tortue High Complication Extra Large watch flaunts a silver guilloche dial with Roman numeral markers and apple-shaped blue hands. Other features include a power reserve indicator and calendar functionality. This manual winding, water-resistant watch cost nearly £367,008.
The elite watchmaker Jaeger Lecoultre designed the ultra-luxurious Joaillerie 101 Manchette watch to gift Queen Elizabeth on her reign’s 60th year. The watch is made of white gold and flaunts a series of diamond-set links. Moreover, the exclusive profile houses a tiny movement – Calibre 101. The timepiece is worth nearly £19.07 million.
The Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260 is among the most complicated timepiece in the world. It consists of 57 different complications, 242 jewels and 2826 individual elements. Interestingly, ten of these complications were new inventions in the horological industry at their manufacturing time.
The most exceptional features of Reference 57260 include a double retrograde split-seconds chronograph, a night mode and the Judaic calendar. However, the timepiece sports a simplistic case that leaves the centre stage to the unrivalled mechanics.
Vacheron Constantin is known to take nearly eight years to design and produce this watch. So you won’t be surprised to know that the timepiece fetched about £5.87 million.
The BR-X1 Tourbillon Sapphire showcases the brand’s signature cockpit design. And it is the most expensive watch by far Bell & Ross has ever made, having a price tag of about £363,253. The timepiece features an all-sapphire case with transparent sides that clearly illustrate the mono-pusher chronograph tourbillon movement.
Bell & Ross offered this ultramodern watch, one of the oldest movement constructions in watchmaking. The columns raise the bridges slightly from the main plate. However, the plates have added cutaways that boost the view from the sides. This means you can admire all the functional components from several angles.
So these are some of the most expensive watches for men ever produced or sold at auction. Not everyone can afford them right now, but there is no harm in seeing and dreaming.
However, those who have a luxury watch and want an accurate valuation can contact our expert team today. The Luxury Hut buys all kinds of luxury timepieces from leading watch brands like Rolex, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, Cartier and more, vintage or modern, for competitive prices. Part-exchange against watches is also available. Fill in our online form or call on 0207 242 9160 for an instant price quote.
Patek Philippe has been the pioneer in the luxury watchmaking industry for nearly 200 years. This finest watchmaker combines its strict dedication to tradition, technological wonders and craftsmanship to make some of the most iconic watches. Patek Philippe knows what represents an iconic reference.
Eventually, every timepiece within Patek Philippe’s catalogue has turned to be a status symbol over the years. And they remain excellent investment pieces because of their ability to retain value and price surge in the resale market.
So let’s explore a generation of some iconic Patek Philippe models. They represent the brand’s core ethics and hold excellent resale value, making them sound investments.
Patek Philippe introduced the Nautilus collection, representing the sports watch industry. However, the first Nautilus watch that made its debut in 1976 was the Reference 3700/1. The story behind the creation of Nautilus is pretty fascinating.
The Nautilus is by far the most cherished and coveted stainless steel sports watch globally. However, the brand upgraded the Nautilus line over the years. The Nautilus is today available in white gold, yellow and also in rose gold.
Moreover, among its several popular versions, the Nautilus with chronograph functionality is more sought-after among collectors. The Nautilus offers many exclusive features that make it an actual sports timepiece.
Taking inspiration from the Nautilus, Patek Philippe launched another cornerstone collection in 1997 – the Aquanaut. However, although it appears similar to the Nautilus, the Aquanaut has a personality of its own.
The Aquanaut also sports a tropical strap that offers resistance to water, UV rays and abrasion. Furthermore, Patek equips the watch with many complications that run on a chronograph movement.
One of the unique and most elegant Patek Philippe collections is the Calatrava, celebrated for its grace and beauty. The Calatrava has been a mainstay series in the brand’s catalogue for nearly 80 years. However, the collection includes watches of varied styles like references with a small seconds sub-dial.
There are also watches with three hands. Moreover, you can also find some Calatrava references featuring date functionality.
Another one-of-a-kind collection in the brand’s portfolio is the Golden Ellipse. Patek Philippe deviated from conventional watch shapes and offered the Golden Ellipse a circular casing. However, the Patek Philippe Golden Ellipse watches exhibit a minimalistic and sophisticated look with a well-proportionate dial.
Interestingly, the inspiration behind the creation of the Golden Ellipse was the discovery of the ancient green mathematicians – “Golden Section”.
Overall, Patek Philippe has always awed its enthusiasts and collectors with its distinctive watch concepts. This watchmaker is undeniably one of the most unrivalled leaders of Swiss luxury watchmaking.
Patek Philippe makes avant-garde watches without ever compromising the quality. And this makes Patek timepieces stand the test of time, holding excellent resale value with time.
Eventually, a Patek Philippe watch serves as a valuable asset to sell in a hard-up situation. However, if you want to sell a Patek Philippe watch, make sure you choose a trusted watch buyer like The Luxury Hut.
Our expert evaluators always keep track of the changing luxury watch market trends and prices. Thus, we can determine an accurate price for any pre-owned Patek Philippe watch. Want to know how much you can get for your Patek Philippe watch?
Fill in our online form with all details of your timepiece and get an instant free competitive quote.
Do you know how can you verify the authenticity of a Patek Philippe watch? Founded in 1839 in the Canton of Geneva, Patek Philippe is among the world’s premier luxury Swiss watchmakers. The brand is revered by virtually everyone from watch naives to ardent watch enthusiasts. Patek Philippe has been continually elevating the luxury watchmaking standards over 180years of its storied legacy.
Today, for many, owning Patek Philippe watches is an achievement. While the brand puts a considerable amount of care into each watch, mass production is not possible. It is estimated that Patek Philippe has produced only about a million timepieces since its inception.
The premium quality, incredible demand, and limited production make Patek Philippe ripe for counterfeiters. Thus, the market is unfortunately inhabited by several fake Patek Philippe watches that can easily deceive any average and eager watch buyers.
However, the good news is that some tell-tale signs can help you to identify a fake Patek Philippe watch. Continue reading as we have outlined every aspect you need to verify the authenticity of a Patek Philippe watch.
Even before you head out to sell a Patek Philippe watch, take a look at these aspects to verify whether a timepiece you own is authentic or fake.
Each Patek Philippe collection possesses its signature features. However, we have jotted down the general features that will help you spot a fake Patek Philippe watch.
Patek Philippe has always been very particular and precise on the types of materials they use for making its watches. Most of the brand’s watches are crafted gold and platinum, although stainless steel models are also available. However, what you need to keep in mind is that –
Patek Philippe only employs the highest quality of each metal. They leave no room for deformities.
Counterfeiters typically provide more attention to the appearance than the overall watch’s quality. The quality of metals used for fake Patek watches may be good but won’t meet a genuine Patek Philippe’s quality standards.
So if the metal shows even the tiniest imperfections, the watch is probably a fake one. Patek Philippe is committed to such quality control standards that no timepiece can leave the factory with any signs of imperfections.
Genuine and authenticated Patek Philippe watch cases are made of 18ct gold, platinum or stainless steel. Moreover, Patek watches generally feature solid case-backs without any engravings or adornments (some limited edition models are the exceptions).
Another minor but significant detail that is often overlooked is the serial number’s placement.
Keep in mind that Patek Philippe does not inscribe its watches’ serial number on the case back’s outer side.
So turn over the Patek Philippe watch and check if it has any numbers printed on the case-back. If it has, then you know that you are dealing with a fake watch.
At a glance, you may not identify a fake Patek Philippe watch looking at its dial as it appears pretty like the genuine one. But there are minor tell-tale details to spot the fake. Let’s begin with the font.
On the contrary, counterfeit Patek watches will not flaunt the same font or try to use a bigger size, exhibiting the brand name more prominently.
Moreover, genuine Patek Philippe watches, besides skeletonised models, do not sport visible balance wheels or tourbillon on the dial. Now:
However, make sure to check the crown. On genuine Patek Philippe watches, the crown is etched to perfection. This detail is something you will need to check using a magnifying lens.
If you find no detail on the crown or the design looks spotty, the watch is not genuine.
Another aspect that you should consider is the heft or weight. While finding out how to verify the authenticity of a Patek Philippe watch, it is essential to consider that the brand uses only high-quality materials. And they add a solid weight to the timepieces.
If the timepiece you are considering now feels lighter or seems to weigh similar to an average watch available at discount shops, it is not an authenticate Patek Philippe.
Genuine Patek Philippe bracelets are also made of platinum and 18ct gold. However, the straps are made of leather or a distinctive composite material. What is significant for you to note is that the brand inscribes the model number specific to a watch’s series on the bracelets.
Remember that counterfeit watches are today more precisely made, and sometimes it becomes challenging for naives to tell if a Patek Philippe watch is authentic. Thus, if you doubt a watch’s authenticity, it is better to pass on the deal.
Many professional and trusted dealers buy and sell genuine Patek Philippe watches like The Luxury Hut. Contact us at 0207 242 9160 for any queries you may have regarding buying and selling pre-owned Patek Philippe watches.
Yes, you hear it right. Patek Philippe stopped producing the iconic Nautilus Reference 5711.
The brand has discontinued not only one of its most iconic models but also one of the world’s most popular and coveted watches. This news is certainly not that watch enthusiasts across the globe anticipated at the start of 2021.
The irony is that one of the most talked-about timepieces of 2021 is not a brand-new launch but, instead, discontinuation.
The Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 is much more than a mere timekeeper. And the brand ceased its production when virtually all watch collectors today want to buy the watch for vast gobs of money.
However, the leading watchmaker, Patek Philippe, must have little logic to stop producing a globally popular item. Perhaps it is a smart move, and one might need to do something like this at a time.
Continue reading to find out what’s the actual logic behind such a surprising move by Patek Philippe.
Patek Philippe has been producing the Nautilus Reference 5711 for about 43years. However, its demand escalated a few years ago. As per reports in 2019, the waiting list for this particular model extended for eight years. Now:
While the brand discontinued the Nautilus 5711, the waitlist will extend forever. But the interesting fact is that Patek Philippe has stopped producing the timepiece back in 2019. They remained tight-lipped.
Of course, Patek’s enthusiasts and collectors were upset about it, and the same was the retailers. Lots of people have been eagerly waiting to buy and sell this watch. And now, the only way to get this model would be to dive into the second hand market and purchase it for staggering gobs of money.
So the question is – why Patek Philippe discontinued its most popular and sought-after creation?
Patek Philippe’s President, Thierry Stern, speaking to the Times, has said –
“We are doing this for our clients who already own a Patek Philippe and to protect our brand from becoming too commercial.”
“I can continue to make this fantastic product or sell 10 times more of them. But I am not working for numbers. I am protecting the company for the future, for my children.”
Stern is well-aware that discontinuing the iconic Nautilus 5711 will upset its global fans and collectors. However, as Stern stated, he followed a lesson that his father taught him, and today he is passing down the same to his children.
“When you have a fantastic brand like Patek, you have to protect the brand and not just one product,” he said.
Well, this is a brilliant move or rather a smart decision for high-end timepieces. But it works well not only for watches but also with other top-selling things in the world.
The Nautilus Reference 5711 in stainless steel and a vibrant blue dial became so famous that its significance changed. Depending on the person, the watch represented many things. While some blazed it as a sign of wealth, others considered it the epitome of modern watch design.
Moreover, the Nautilus Reference 5711 was a unique steel sports timepiece from a brand more recognised for dress watches for many people. The watch was enjoying a fascinating demand and price surge. And the waitlist also extended before Patek announced its discontinuation.
The Nautilus 5711 will have a successor or successors. However, Reference 5711 is a significant part of Patek Philippe’s past but not its future.
Nonetheless, if you are looking to sell a Patek Philippe watch for the best price in London, fill up our online form or call on 0207 242 9160 for a free competitive quote.
© The Luxury Hut is a trading name of Golden Cash Limited. Authorised and regulated by The Financial Conduct Authority for pawnbroking. Registered in England as Golden Cash Limited. Registered Number is 07309335. Registered office address: Treviot House, 186-192 High Road, IIford, Essex, IG1 1LR. Designed and Developed by The Luxury Hut. All Rights Reserved 2018